This is the second entry in a series which discusses the making of an image from the IndyCar.com photo gallery. This entry discusses a photo that was taken at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 27, 2011.
Each race weekend, we have a number of photo assignments. The list includes such items as press conferences, driver autograph sessions, the Peak Pole Award, pre-race activities and victory lane. We also shoot a lot of on-track action, the crews at work in the pits, and scenes from the Paddock. One of the other items on our list each week is the start of the race.
Since we had several IndyCar photographers at St. Petersburg, we each went to different locations for the start of the race. I was shooting through a photo-hole in the fence at the end of the long front straight that leads to Turn 1. We knew this would be a good place to get shots of the cars just after they took the green. Also, based on past races at St. Pete, Turn 1 has been the site of a number of “racing incidents” (last year, James Hinchcliffe was taken out in a first lap incident during the Firestone Indy Lights race).
If you watched the race or saw any of the highlights, you know Marco Andretti was involved in a big accident in Turn 1 on the first lap. Knowing there was a possibility of an incident, I had the shutter speed turned up higher than normal. Generally we shoot action shots at a speed of less than 1/1000 of a second so you don’t stop the motion of the tires, but for the start, I was shooting at 1/1400 of a second since we like to stop the action when there is an incident.
As the incident ensued, the primary cars involved moved out of range from my photo hole. We never like to see accidents, but if there is one, we hope no one is injured, and we hope we catch the action so we can share it with the fans who visit IndyCar.com.
Next up, an image from the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.